The roar…the vibration…the cheer of the crowd. You just cannot beat an NHRA National Race. No matter where you’re sitting or who you’re sitting with, you are going to love race weekends at this park. The fact that they have camping facilities at Heartland Motorsports Park makes it even better because you can hang out with other race lovers and maybe even talk to the drivers and pit crew while you are there.
Pack up the kids, too, because everyone is welcome here. Make sure they know not to be alarmed by loud noises and fast cars and are ready to pick their preferred driver. Topeka in June is beautiful, and you will enjoy the warmth of the sun while you cheer on your favorite driver. The park is fantastic and has all kinds of fun things to do in addition to watching the race activities.
You’ll be able to go down to the pit area and watch as the crew members tune up their cars between runs. The main food court is located right by the pit areas so you can watch them work while you wait in line for your food. And don’t miss out on the autograph session where you can get autographs from your favorite drivers.
Tickets for the NHRA Heartland Nationals can vary from $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on what you want. If you’re camping or staying the whole weekend, the price will be higher, of course. However, you don’t have to pay extra for a pit pass because all tickets are pit passes. Children 12 and under are usually free.
On the edges of the City of Topeka and about an hour from Kansas City, Heartland Motorsports Park is easy to get to right off of Interstates 70 and 470. Coming in from the north, you can take US-75 or Interstate 470, and coming from the south, take Interstate 335. Being in a large city right off the major interstates, you're less likely to have problems maneuvering a large motorhome.
Heartland Motorsports Park has over 23 acres of parking in the paddock area as well as the access roads, grass parking, and camping areas. In fact, there are four general parking lots, one for preferred parking, a VIP lot, and the RV parking lot by the pit area. No matter where you park, you won’t have to walk too far to get to the track.
You're not likely to have trouble finding public transportation in Topeka. The Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) provides regular bus service for much of the week. You can even call them for private pickup service if you don’t happen to be near a bus stop. Of course, you can also call a taxi or rideshare service.
The fun never has to stop if you are camping at the racetrack. The park has a large area for camping on both grass and concrete areas, some with electric and water hookups right next to the north pit area. You can also find a restroom with a shower house to use. However, there’s no picnic table or campfire rings, so bring your own seating and cooking arrangements.
Within five miles of the racetrack, you can find Topeka/Capital City KOA on SW 49th Street. They have 65 RV sites with full hookups, cable TV, and Wi-Fi. You’ll also have access to the saltwater pool, playground, shower house, pet area, and recreational fun such as fishing, horseshoes, and an exercise room. Other campgrounds in the area include one in Topeka with a huge lake and plenty of amenities and several primitive campsites as well.
You’ll be walking everywhere you go at the Heartland Motorsports Park. But, not to worry, if you wear comfortable shoes you should be able to enjoy the events without trouble. Strollers and wheelchairs are welcome, and there are special ADA provisions such as parking and seating. Make sure to ask about these options when reserving your tickets for race day.
You may want to pack a variety of clothing choices for Topeka in June because the weather can vary so much. Grab some tanks, shorts, t-shirts, and jeans so you will be covered for everything. You may also want to bring a light jacket just in case. Don’t forget those comfy walking shoes and your swimwear if you plan to cool off anywhere in the summer heat.
Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals does not allow coolers or outside food, drinks, or alcohol. However, you are allowed to bring a small backpack in which you can carry binoculars, cameras, and seat cushions. You’re encouraged to bring flags or signs to cheer on your driver as long as they are not offensive or big enough to block the view of others.
It’s usually sunny in June, so make sure you have your sunblock and a hat and sunglasses to keep the sun off your face. Bug spray is also a good idea because those Midwest mosquitos can get thirsty after the sun sets. Pack a first aid kit and medications in your backpack as well, if needed.
Although you will have the opportunity to get electricity and water at your campsite, there is no grill or BBQ pit, so bring your own pit or campfire stove if you want to cook outdoors. It’s always a good idea to have plenty of extra water and propane too, just in case. The grocery stores in Topeka are only a few minutes away if you forgot something.
If you would like a switch from track food or just want to enjoy a nice meal together, you’ll find quite a few dining choices in and around Topeka. Several of these are nice sit-down restaurants such as a Thai restaurant, BBQ dining, and a fine dining establishment that has the best of everything. If you’re hankering for pizza, subs, or fast food, you’ll find plenty of them in Topeka, too.
You can find several food choices at the concession stands in Heartland Motorsports Park by the oval track near the ticket office. Some of the recent food and drink vendors have included Budweiser, Pepsi, and the usual hot dogs, burgers, and nachos served by the park. You may even find some munchies in the Souvenir Store by the lower pit area.
Security reserves the right to search any bag at any time they deem necessary. No drugs, weapons, or fireworks are allowed at the park, and a family-friendly atmosphere is maintained. Security officers are stationed around the park as needed. They are there to keep you safe and make sure that everyone has a good time.
The high temperatures in Topeka, Kansas in June can range from 71 to 88 degrees. However, it has gotten as hot as 96 in the past. The lows will typically run around 53 to 61 degrees, but it has been known to drop below 40. It is best to check the weather forecast before packing or heading out the door.
If you or someone around you is in need of immediate medical care, do not hesitate to call 911 if you do not see a member of the staff or security nearby. For minor injuries or illnesses, the track has a medical station in the corner of the north pit area. The closest hospital is in Topeka on 21st street, just nine miles away.